Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats

you are carrying and to assist you in bearing these days of anguish which
resemble a nightmare. But first and foremost^ know that no sacrifice,
conceived from a clear heart, can be vain., and that your strife is rendering
the Polish cause great and indisputable services."
The bitterness underlying SosnkowskTs Order of the Day augmented
the already existing uneasiness in Britain. The English Press had ignored
the rising in Warsaw during its early days/" and out of all the London
newspapers,, it was the Evening Standard who stressed on August 9
that the defenders of the Polish capital were appealing to the British
for help :
" They say that this is not 1939. Britain has thousands of day and night
bombers that in a single mission could change the situation by attacking
the Germans and dropping supplies. They point to the Polish paratroops
fighting fit and ready in this country. They point to the pledge of 1939/'f
On August 14, Lord Vansittart wrote to the Editor of the *Daily Mail:
"A tragedy is being enacted before an insufficiently attentive world. The
British and Russians stimulated the Polish patriots to revolt in order to
assist the oncoming Russian Army. The Poles did so; then the Russian
advance was halted . . . The unsupported Poles are being slaughtered and
Warsaw is being obliterated ... Is humanity going to allow this tragedy
to be consummated ? "
" The British Press/' wrote London's correspondent of Sodaldemo-
kraten in Stockholm, " acting like a man in a fever> tried to explain the
* On August 8th3 wrote Z. Litynski in his Warsaw Warning, London3 1944 
"I rang up a friend of mine, Mrs. H., the feature editor of one of the biggest
London dailies, telling her how amazed I was that so great a story as mat of fighting
Warsaw had found no echo in the British Press. I suggested to her that I should
at once write an account for her paper, based on the information given me by
the Polish Chief of Staff, or, rather, to make accessible to one of their correspon-
dents the messages received by the Poles from Warsaw. My friend replied that
it was a matter of importance and would have to be discussed with the Editor.
Next afternoon^ she phoned and apologised. She was very sorry indeed but,
in the present circumstances^ her paper could not publish a story about Warsaw
fighting a death struggle against the Germans ..."
t The Polish Commander-in-Chief was informed that these paratroops were
already under the command of General Eisenhower^ who in turn could not give
permission to go to the aid of Warsaw^ without orders from the Allied Governments.
The Polish pafatroops and air crews demonstrated on the airfields and demanded to
be allowed to ny to the help of Warsaw. They were finally persuaded that the
problem would be solved and so forth. These Polish paratroops were soon after-
wards to take part in the Anglo-American Air-borne Army landing in Holland in
the September. During the same period the Polish fighter squadrons played
their part in hunting the flying bombs launched against England and according
to the Air Ministry's communique of September 9tn3 shot down twelve per cent,
of the total.
On August 12th the Economic wrote on this topic : "... But there are in this
country Polish Squadrons in the R.A.F. and units of Polish parachutists which
have been trained precisely for such tasks as assisting a rising inside Poland.
Those forces are now serving under Allied operational command. Why then
have Polish airmen and parachutists not been detailed to help the insurgents in
Warsaw ? True,, Warsaw has now come within the sphere of the Russian Supreme
Command. But that surely does not mean that the Polish Government^ recog-
nised by Great Britain and the United States, ought to be denied the chance of
sending Polish forces to aid their fighting countrymen. Or are the Poles3 perhaps
to lose the right to struggle on their own soil for their own liberation ?"